Moving from one place to other to resettle is a very big step in one’s life.
18 years ago, I came to Canada as an immigrant with my spouse and two children.
My family’s journey started many years ago. My parents immigrated to Bangladesh from India, and I migrated to Canada from Bangladesh. Even my ancestors, more specifically my great great grand-parents, had immigrated to India. I spent my childhood in Pakistan and went to high school and university in my home land of Bangladesh. After getting married, I lived for about 7 years in Nepal, after which my family and I moved to Dubai. Living as an expatriate somewhere and emigrating to a country to become a citizen is very different. When I was an expatriate in Nepal and Dubai, I lived like a guest there. I never got involved or concerned myself with what was going on in their societies, nor their economic or political matters.
Before coming to Canada, I did not realize that I would be moving here to become a citizen. It felt like yet another move. The first few years, I felt a little lost, as the integration process was very slow. I did not know what to expect from the community and what to give or how to share. I felt a lack of There was a lack of belonging. Slowly as I started to get involved in the community, I started to feel an attachment with the city, and even the country at large.
I still remember my first snowfall. It was the middle of November and it was about midnight, I woke up and was surprised to see how bright it was. It was my brother in law’s house. At first I thought that maybe they had forgotten to turn off the lights. I came down to the main floor and noticed that all lights were off. I did not understand why it was so bright until I opened the curtains and looked outside: I was astonished to see the snow; my eyes could not believe it. I did not know how to express how I felt, so I ran to all windows and looked at all the snow falling outside. It was so beautiful, calm, and quiet.
Canada has given me the opportunity to get to know myself and taught me how to live in a multicultural society, while still maintaining my own identity.
Today, I work with newcomers who come here to make this country their home. I enjoy working with them as I can learn from them while also sharing my experiences. My children, who were 10 and 8 years old when they first came here, are now university graduates working in their own fields, and my spouse has rebuilt his career here from scratch. It was not easy, but good things hardly are. Newcomers always remind me of my family history, and also the hope that immigrants bring with them when they come to Canada.